Growing interest in personal and career development is motivating young people to consider investing in on-the-job experience. This trend is noticeable on the labor market and in how younger people approach their working lives. Driven by a desire to succeed and grow, they seek to combine theoretical education with practical experience early in their professional journeys.
According to a study from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 70% of enrolled university students were working and studying concurrently. This practice is becoming more popular among young professionals due to its undeniable benefits.
"Advancing your career and university studies simultaneously is a proven way to acquire hands-on experience. It is a chance to immerse yourself in the working world and gain valuable experience. This way, when you graduate you are already considered a full-fledged professional and can confidently seek an expert’s role and salary,” says Yuliia Malezhyk, HR Specialist at AsstrA. “In addition, you can apply the theories you are learning at university. You are comfortable with planning and managing your time, setting priorities, communicating with colleagues, and delegating tasks. You have a head start building skills and a professional network that will be useful not only in your current role but also your future ones."
In line with this trend, more companies than ever are starting to recruit young talents on university campuses. They aim to find, attract, and hire interns and entry-level professionals straight from universities. This investment in youthful energy helps employers take innovative approaches and generate new business ideas. At the same time, students with a fresh slate can familiarize and align themselves with a company’s internal values, goals, and mission.
However, this trend can involve unforeseen difficulties. A job is an additional responsibility that young people must factor in as they seek to balance their personal and professional lives. Despite numerous self-help books and online gurus offering advice on this topic, finding this balance is often more difficult than it initially seems.
Young professionals are likely to overestimate their free time and energy. As a result, they often experience sleepless nights and poor productivity at both school and the workplace. Also, traditional in-person lectures often lead to scheduling complications. In such cases, students must have open conversation with their managers to find a workable solution together.
To help avoid overcommitting and find a balance between one’s work, studies, and personal life, Yuliia Malezhyk shares some tips:
"1. Planning. Write down every task in your calendar along with how important it is. For example, project deadlines at work or due-dates for academic assignments. Seeing your schedule in one place will help you keep up with plans and prioritize your time correctly.
2. Discipline. Planning your weekdays is already the first step to success. The second is to build the discipline to carry out your plan. Diligently stick to deadlines. If plans change or there are disruptions, however, be flexible and adapt.
3. Train your subconscious. People tend to focus on negativity, especially when they are tired or stressed. To get the most out of your work, think about the benefits and positive emotions you get from working and studying.
4. Rest. Remember to block off some time for proper rest. Set aside a couple of days each month to completely detach from school and work. Plan vacations in advance and be sure to take one at least every six months to ensure that you have the motivation to move forward."